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The other week we discussed seeding versus instant lawn and people wanted to know more – what is the difference, between the two, in terms of preparation and installation.


For seeding it is most effective to use a fine sandy soil mix for your top dressing – you will need to level it out as well as ensuring that you have a good 100mms of uncompacted soil in which to sow your lawn seeds.

Prep for seeding:

  • Install any underground drainage or irrigation you may want or is required
  • Sow at right time of year – warm season seed can be sowed during the spring and summer months
  • Sow on a still day when storms are not forecast; grass seed is very light and can easily blow around or be washed away.
  • Spread at a rate according to the directions.
  • When seeding, you will need a decent layer of quality, uncompacted top soil. Whether using your existing soil, or imported, manufactured top soil, there is a risk of the heat and weather drying and compacting the soil extremely fast making it a hostile environment for anything to grow. The correct soil choice can prevent this. The higher sand content minimises compaction and ‘crusting’ effect.
  • Spread from side to side – in one direction and then another
  • Over large areas, mix seed with sand to get more even distribution
  • Rake the area lightly
  • Keep the area moist throughout germination period. In hot or windy weather this may involve watering three or four times a day. Some couch grasses have a germination period of up to 28 days, so this can take a big block of time
  • Mow for the first time when grass is 100mm in height

We find seeding in South-East Queensland can be a difficult under taking and success is often dictated by the weather. High hot winds, heavy storm-like rainfall and scorching hot temperatures will all beworking against you through late spring and summer, so it’s all about timing.

If seeding, try and find a few weeks when mild temperatures, calm conditions and low rainfall are due. We often hear that seeded lawns look great for a few weeks with lots of lovely green shoots, but die off after three or four weeks to almost nothing. If you’re concerned about seeding then installing an instant turf might be the better, more cost effective and efficient way to go to get that fantastic new, green lawn.

Instant Lawn:

When laying a new instant lawn we recommend a 100mm base layer of a sandy under turf soil mix – this will ensure that your new lawn will establish deep roots in the soil and will be much more efficient during long dry periods.

Prep for installing instant lawn

  • Install any underground drainage or irrigation you may want or is required.
  • Bring in a new sandy under-turf soil mix if necessary – 80-100mm of uncompacted, organic soil. In heavy or clay soils it is recommended a clay breaker be used, such as gypsum
  • If using your existing soil as a base, prepare the surface by digging or rotary hoeing the area to a depth of 100mm
  • Using a topsoil leveller or rake, level off the area and roll flat with a water filled roller.
  • If using your existing soil, it is recommended that you wait a few weeks and treat any weeds that may have germinated.
  • Generally, when using a new rich organic mix, fertiliser is not always necessary initially. Where possible, avoid chemical based fertilisers under new turf to prevent possible burning, or ensure the application rate is followed precisely.
  • Roll your new turf out keeping the joins as tight as possible.
  • With a water filled roller (or similar) roll your lawn again and water in well.

So, if an instant turf lawn sounds like the better option for you and your new lawn just contact the team at Daleys Turf today.

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